Dearest Darling Sweetheart Honey: Letters Home from War

Date

2023-12

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Abstract

During their wartime service, soldiers kept in touch with their civilian life through letters. Written to wives, girlfriends, family, and friends, not only were these letters a means of keeping connections, but they also served as an outlet for soldiers to process their emotions and experiences. This monograph utilizes letters written by American Soldiers from 1940 to 1968, discussing how these soldiers used letters to fill their absence at home and to cope with their wartime experience. This 30-year span includes soldiers who served in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Using stories from all three wars allows this research to highlight the similarities in emotional expressions regardless of when and where they were written. Traditional notions of a soldier are portrayed as emotionless, brave men. However, these letters reveal the true notion of being a soldier, showing their homesickness and vulnerabilities. Exploring their authentic self-expression adds to the historical understanding of soldiers’ experiences, highlighting the human side of war. This research recognizes the humanity within the inhumane context of war, showing that those in the service are ordinary people pushed into stressful environments, struggling to maintain their sanity.


Embargo status: Restricted until 01/2030. To request the author grant access, click on the PDF link to the left.

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Keywords

Vietnam War, Korean War, World War II, Letters

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